RomComs: Yes, I’m a Hater

Movies are a heavily influential form of entertainment in today’s society.  When I was a kid, after seeing “The Incredibles,” I went back to school arguing with my friends about which superhero we pretended to be each day. I was attempting my own version of a half-court slam dunk on miniature courts after Michael Jordan do it in “Space Jam.” And like many others, I felt I would never find a love as perfect as Noah and Ali’s in “The Notebook.” But one thing about movies similar to “The Notebook,” people ACTUALLY believe that is how love is in the real world. People often base their expectations for a significant other on a movie character. Or they will have an unreasonable assumption of how an event should happen, because of a movie they watched. I’m here to break the sad, sad news to you all. Love does not work like that in the real world. Romantic comedies (“rom coms”) are huge illusions of what real life love is supposed to be. In my very humble opinion, romcoms have negatively affected the way love is perceived in today’s society. Most men who speak to women at bars are not charming or handsome with great intentions of committing to a long term relationship. Sadly, many times the drunken conversation is started with bad intentions. Nostalgic love is a frequent storyline, where two people that dated years ago will still want to be with each other. However, people tend to move on as a single man or woman, or to the next relationship in real life. Pick-up lines are used in romcoms on a consistent basis. Whereas many men and women avoid pick-up lines in social settings. Rom coms provide a reality that is not socially acceptable.


Rom coms provide a reality that is not socially acceptable.

Extravagant or selfless deeds men do in rom coms are the exact opposite of what they would do in real life. For example, let’s take a look at one of my favorites, “The Proposal.” Sandra Bullock’s character bribes Ryan Reynolds’ character with a job promotion if he agrees to fake a marriage with her so that she will not be deported for an expired Visa, and then they magically fall in love with each other. 


NOW. Truthfully, how many men (under the circumstances in the movie, not for large amounts of money) would agree to do this in real life? Hmmm. The huge time crunch that romcom movies make in order for the film to be two hours is also something to consider because it does not align with real-life experiences. While we watch it we’re like, “Oh, wow, love will always prevail! What’s meant to be will be.” And if it’s “Definitely, Maybe” that you’re watching you’ll notice the man got married, had a child who is about 6-years-old, and was in the process of a divorce. That, by no means, is a two-hour sequence, nor would most wait for a person that long without starting a family of their own. But the fans will believe it is reasonable because it took two hours for them to witness love prevail.


Back to my personal favorite rom-com to discuss: “The Notebook.” Other than laying in the middle of the street, accepting a date offer while on a date with someone else, disobeying your parents, handwriting a letter everyday for a year, leaving your fiance to find a guy you dated seven years prior, and being drenched by the pouring rain to profess your love, it is very believable that a loving couple can die holding each other. Now, it may sound like I’m a hater. And I am. But, I do believe that people can have a love story that seems as if it were created. However, in real life, the movie tactics will not fly.


However, in real life, the movie tactics will not fly.

Let’s take a minute for a reality check. Reference the list below when you start to feel the butterflies of a new relationship, have questions about your love life or need to come back from fantasyland after watching a romcom.

    • Figure out who YOU are before getting involved with someone else. The cliche saying, “you can’t love someone without loving yourself first” does, in fact, apply to the success of relationships.
    • I know it is disheartening to realize he will not jump on a moving Ferris wheel to ask you out on a date, but he might slide in the DMs. He might ask for your number after reaching for the same granola bars at Target.
    • Waiting until the very last minute to inform someone you’re insanely in love with them is probably a bad idea. Too little too late is a reality my friend.
    • If she did not respond to the first 37 messages you sent, she probably did not plan to respond to the 38th one. It’s definitely over. But you can put that same texting energy into reaching out to a new friend or crush you have.
    • NO one’s love story is picture-perfect – there will be arguing, heartbreak, rejection, and pain. But this is a part of life. Reach out to those you trust for support and know that you and everyone else are worthy of love!

See. Add some Al Green in the background of all this and you got yourself a real-life romantic comedy love story. But truthfully, I cannot end an article about rom coms properly if I do not end it with the following, “It wasn’t over. It still isn’t over!”  

Manhappenin' Magazine is Kansas State University's student-created lifestyle magazine.


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